by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 27th April 2009
After a forgettable debut where he was caned for 44 runs off his first four overs, and of two fruitless home Tests against New Zealand, when he emerged one of India's leading fast bowlers in their historic tour of Pakistan in 2003-04. He was particularly lethal in a couple of sessions in the third Test in Rawalpindi, where he consistently swung the ball away, and snapped up a then career-best 4 for 63.
That comeback fades in comparison to the one he made in 2008-09. A stress fracture ruled him out of cricket in 2005, and threatened to end his career. For three years he could hardly play any cricket. He had to undergo a back surgery before which he was not sure he would be able to bowl again.
With a remodelled action and the same unwavering spirit, he started the long road back through the first season of the IPL in 2008. His 11 wickets for Chennai Super Kings included a hat-trick. A successful Ranji season followed, and his 36 wickets at 17.50 took Tamil Nadu through to the semi-final. Eventually the national recall came, when Munaf Patel sustained a groin injury during the five-ODI series in Sri Lanka in January 2009.